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Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge


(From the Papyrus of Nebseni, Brit. Mus. No. 9900, Sheet 14, ll. 16ff.)

"As concerning the Divine Twin-gods they are Heru-netch-her-tefef and Heru-khent-en-Ariti (Horus the Advocate of his father [Osiris],  and Horus the sightless)."

"Others say that the double Divine Soul which dwelleth in the Divine Twin-gods is the Soul of Ra and the Soul of Osiris,  and yet others say that it is the Soul which dwelleth in Shu,  and the Sould which dwelleth in Tefnut,  and that these two Souls form the double Divine Soul which dwelleth in Tetu."

"I am the Cat which fought near the Persea Tree in Anu on the night when the foes of Neb-er-tcher were destroyed."

Who is this Cat?

"This male Cat is Ra himself,  and he was called 'Mau' because of the speech of the god Sa,  who said concerning him:   'He is like (mau) unto that which he hath made';  therefore, did the name of Ra become 'Mau.'"

"Others,  however,  say that the male Cat is the god Shu,  who made over the possessions of Keb to Osiris."

"As concerning the fight which took place near the Persea Tree in Anu [these words have reference to the slaughter] of the children of rebellion,  when righteous retribution was meted out to them for [the evil] which they had done."

"As concerning the 'night of the battle,'  [these words refer to] the invasion of the eastern portion of the heaven by the children of rebellion,  whereupon a great battle arose in heaven and in all the earth."

"O thou who art in thine egg (Ra,)  who showest from thy Disk,  who risest on thy horizon,  and dost shine with golden beams in the height of heaven,  like unto whom there is none among the gods,  who sailest above the Pillars of Shu,  who sendest forth blasts of fire from thy mouth,  [who illuminest the Two Lands with thy splendour,  deliver] thou Nebseni,  the lord of fealty [to Osiris],  from the god whose form is hidden,  and whose eyebrows are like unto the two arms of the Balance on the night when the sentences of doom are promulgated."

Who is this invisible god?

"It is An-a-f (he who bringeth his arm.)."

"As concerning 'the night when the sentences of doom are promulgated,'  it is the night of the burning of the damned,  and of the overthrow of the wicked at the Block,  and of the slaughter of souls."

Who is this [slaughterer of souls]?

"It is Shesmu, the headsman of Osiris."

"[Concerning the invisible god] some say that he is Aapep when he riseth up with a head bearing upon it [the feather of] Maat (Truth). But others say that he is Horus when he riseth up with two heads,  whereon one beareth [the feather of] Maat,  and the other [the symbol of] wickedness. He bestoweth wickedness on him that worketh wickedness,  and right and truth upon him that followeth righteousness and truth."

"Others say that he is Heru-ur (the Old Horus),  who dwelleth in Sekhem;  others say that he is Thoth;  others say that he is Nefer-Tem;  and others say that he is Sept who doth bring to nought the acts of the foes of Nebertcher."

"Deliver thou the scribe Nebseni,  whose word is truth,  from the Watchers,  who carry murderous knives, who possess cruel fingers,  and who would slay those who are in the following of Osiris."

May these Watchers never gain the mastery over me,  and may I never fall under their knives!

Who are these Watchers?

"They are Anubis and Horus,  [the latter being] in the form of Horus the sightless.   Others,  however,  say that they are the Tchatcha (sovereign princes of Osiris),  who bring to nought the operations of their knives;  and others say that they are the chiefs of the Sheniu chamber."

"May their knives never gain the mastery over me.   May I never fall under the knives wherewith they inflict cruel tortures.   For I know their names,  and I know the being,  Matchet, who is among them in the House of Osiris.   He shooteth forth rays of light from his eye,  being himself invisible,  and he goeth round about heaven robed in the flames which come from his mouth,  commanding Hapi,  but remaining invisible himself.  May I be strong on earth before Ra,  may I arrive safely in the presence of Osiris.   O ye who preside over your altars,  let not your offerings to me be wanting,  for I am one of those who follow after Nebertcher,  according to the writings of Khepera.   Let me fly like a hawk,  let me cackle like a goose,  let me lay always like the serpent-goddess Neheb-ka."

Who are those who preside over their altars?

"Those who preside over their altars are the similitude of the Eye of Ra,  and the similitude of the Eye of Horus."

"O Ra-Tem,  thou Lord of the Great House [in Anu],  thou Sovereign (life,  strentgh,  health [be to thee]) of all the gods,  deliver thou the scribe Nebseni,  whose word is truth,  from the god whose face is like unto that of a greyhound,  whose brows are like those of a man,  who feedeth upon the dead,  who watcheth at the Bend of the Lake of Fire,  who devoureth the bodies of the dead,  and swalloweth hearts,  and who voideth filth,  but who himself remaineth unseen."

Who is this greyhound-faced god?

"His name is 'Everlasting Devourer,'  and he liveth in the Domain [of Fire] (the Lake of Unt)."

"As concerning the Domain of Fire,  it is that Aat which is in Naarutef,  and is near the Sheniu chamber.   The sinner who walketh over this place falleth down among the knives [of the Watchers]."

"Others,  however,  say that the name of this god is 'Mates,'  and that he keepeth watch over the door of Amentet;  others say that his name is 'Beba,'  and that he keepeth watch over the Bend [of the stream] of Amentet,  and yet others say that his name is 'Herisepef.'"

"Hail, Lord of Terror,  Chief of the Lands of the South and North,  thou Lord of the Desert,  who dost keep prepared the block of slaughter,  and who dost feed on the intestines [of men]!"

Who is this Lord of Terror?

"It is the Keeper of the Bend [of the stream] of Amentet."

Who is this Keeper?

"It is the Heart of Osiris,  which is the devourer of all slaughtered things."

"The Urrt Crown hath been given unto him,  with gladness of heart,  as Lord of Hensu."

Who is this?

"He to whom the Urrt Crown hath been given with gladness of heart as Lord of Hensu is Osiris.  He was bidden to rule among the gods on the day of the union of earth [with earth] in the presence of Nebertcher."

Who is this?

"He who was bidden to rule among the gods is the son of Isis (Horus),  who was appointed to rule in the room of his father Osiris."

"As concerning [the words] 'day of the union of earth with earth,'  they have reference to the union of earth with earth in the coffin of Osiris,  the Soul that liveth in Hensu,  the giver of meat and drink,  the destroyer of wrong,  and the guide to the everlasting paths."

Who is this?

"It is Ra himself."

"[Deliver thou the Osiris the scribe Ani,  whose word is truth] from the great god who carrrieth away souls,  who eateth hearts, who feedeth upon offal,  who keepeth watch in the darkness,  who dwelleth in the Seker Boat;  those who live in sin fear him."

Who is this?

"It is Suti,  but others say that it is Smamur,  the soul of Keb."

"Hail,  Khepera in thy boat,  the two Companies of the Gods are in thy body.   Deliver thou the Osiris the scribe Ani,  whose word is truth,  from the Watchers who pass sentences of doom,  who have been appointed by the god Nebertcher to protect him,  and to fasten the fetters on his foes,  and who slaughter in the torture chambers;  there is no escape from their fingers.   May they never stab me with their knives,  may I never fall helpless into their chambers of torture.   I have never done the things which the gods hate.  I am he who is pure in the Mesqet chamber.   And saffron cakes have been brought unto him in Tannt."

Who is this?

"It is Khepera in his boat; it is Ra himself."

"As concerning the Watchers who pass sentences of doom,  they are the Apes Isis and Nephthys."

"As concerning the things which the gods hate,  they are acts of deceit and lying.   He who passeth through the place of purification within the Mesqet chamber is Anpu (Anubis),  who is hard by the coffer which containeth the inward parts of Osiris.   He to whom saffron cakes have been brought in Tannt is Osiris."

"Others,  however,  say that the saffron cakes in Tannt represent heaven and earth,  and others say that they represent Shu,  the strengthener of the Two Lands in Hensu;  and others say that they represent the Eye of Horus,  and that Tannt is the burial-place of Osiris."

"Tem hath builded thy house,  and the double Lion-god hath laid the foundations of thy habitation.   Lo!  medicaments have been brought.   Horus purifieth Set and Set strengtheneth,  and Set purifieth and Horus strengtheneth."

"The Osiris the scribe Ani,  whose word is truth before Osiris,  hath come into this land,  and he hath taken possession thereof with his two feet.   He is Tem, and he is in the city."

"Turn thou back,  O Rehu,  whose mouth shineth,  whose head moveth,  turn thou back before his strength."   Another reading is,  'Turn thou back from him who keepeth watch,  and is himself unseen.'  Let the Osiris Ani be safely guarded.  He is Isis,  and he is found with her hair spread over him;  it is shaken out over his brow.   He was conceived by Isis,  and engendered by Nephthys,  and they have cut away from him the things which should be cut from him."

"Fear followeth after thee,  terror is about thine arms.   Thou hast been embraced for millions of years by arms;  mortals go round about thee.   Thou smitest down the mediators of thy foes,  and thou seizest the arms of the power of darkness.   Thy two sisters (Isis and Nephthys) are given to thee for thy delight.   Thou hast created that which is in Kher-aha,  and that which is Anu.   Every god feareth thee,  for thou art exceedingly great and terrible;  thou [avengest] every god on the man who curseth him,  and thou shootest arrows at him.  Thou livest according to thy will.   Thou art Uatchet,  the Lady of Flame,  evil befalleth those who set themselves up against thee."

What is this?

"'Hidden in form,  given of Menhu,'  is the name of the "tomb."   'He who seeth what is on his hand' is the name of Qerau,  or, as others say,  it is the name of the Block."

"Now,  he whose mouth shineth and whose head moveth is the phallus of Osiris,  but others say it is [the phallus] of Ra.   'Thou spreadest thy hair,  and I shake it out over his brow" is said concerning Isis,  who hideth in her hair,  and draweth it round about her."

"Uatchet,  the Lady of Flames,  is the Eye of Ra."